Authorities arrest suspected arsonist in Modesto

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The Latest on the dumpster fire in Modesto (Jan. 22, 5:10 p.m.): Following multiple calls over the span of several days, the Modesto Police Department reports a suspected arsonist was found near 12th and Needham streets. 

Jakarri Jones, 28, in a photo provided by the Modesto Police Department.

Jakarri Jones, 28, was identified as the suspect seen on surveillance images and has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Investigators are searching for a suspected arsonist who started a dumpster fire in Modesto Saturday, according to Stanislaus County fire officials.

The county’s fire investigation unit shared surveillance footage of the man appearing to set fire to a dumpster on L and 12th streets, then walking away.

FOX40 spoke to a neighbor who asked to have her privacy protected.

“To me it’s terrifying,” said the woman.

The surveillance footage shows suspected arsonist as he appears to drop something inside the receptacle, reaches for something on the ground, then walks away as a blaze starts to grow

“And the way he’s doing it so peaceful, so calm, he’s not scared, he’s not frightened, he’s not, he’s not in a hurry,” said the neighbor.

Another neighbor told FOX40 that this latest arson case just adds to the numerous other issues the neighborhood has had, as both investigators and neighbors continue the search for the suspect.

“I do hope he gets caught by the police, first of all, and I hope he gets help where he needs help at. To let him know, this is not a normal thing to do,” said the woman. "Does he need help mentally? Is he on drugs? There’s something wrong.”

If anyone recognizes the suspect, please contact the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigators Unit at 209-525-5537 or email info@stanfiu.org.

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